Monday, August 31, 2015

gigantic florals

Express top, Savers
Calvin Klein straight-leg jeans, Ross
earrings, Haitian Beads

       I think this top is what Aya of Couturgatory calls a shirt shell. Whatever its name, I like the gigantic floral print and rich colors. Sadly, on its first wearing, I figure out how prone the fabric is to snagging ... but I managed to smooth it out and I figure the print distracts from the snag. I think the metal ring on my lanyard was the culprit. I'll just have to remember to tuck my classroom keys in my pocket when I wear this again. I know teachers who can put their keys down and remember to pick them up again, but I keep them around my neck because I know I'd forget to pick them up - or worse, where I put them.
      I would never have thought that bright yellow accessories would be so wearable, but I've gotten lots of use out of these earrings and my glass pendant necklace. The print has just a hint of yellow in it, which was fun to accentuate with the earrings.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August budget: embroidery and whimsy

embroidered flutter sleeve top and sleeveless embroidered tee, Gap, $8.93 (used $30 rewards and 35% off code)
   My Rewards were due to expire at the end of September, so I wanted to use them. I prefer to not wait until the last minute, because then I end up buying something just to buy it.  These came in the mail a few days ago. If I keep either, it will be the sleeveless one - as the reviews warned, the top shirt runs big, and I'm not sure if the embroidery makes my shoulders look wide. I'll have to try both on and snap a few photos soon.

Faded Glory skirt, $3, Walmart clearance
   I usually don't browse the women's clothing, but I was in the store to buy a whole-room air circulator. No luck with the fan - thanks to the horrible heat lately, the masses have descended and wiped out everything but the cheapy box fans and $88 tower fans. But, the $3 clearance sign on a rack of these skirts caught my eye on my way to check out. It's just a bit big around the waist, but I'm excited about having an easy skirt to wear to work

I Jeans by Buffalo Bermuda shorts, JcPenney, $13.92
       I bought the denim version last summer and really liked the fit. I think the black version will read as just a bit dressier, which means I'll feel more comfortable wearing these to work on exceptionally hot days. As much as I like these shorts, I didn't want to pay full price, so I've been checking the site regularly for sales and discount codes. The original price is $36, so I think I scored a pretty good deal.

Short-sleeve Peanuts all-over print t-shirt, JcPenney, $9.06
   I don't _need_ a shirt with cartoon characters cavorting all over it, but did I want it? Yes.

Spent: $34.91
Budget: $50
Under: $15.09

      I went over budget doing some back-to-school shopping, so it's wonderful to come in under budget this month!
    Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers - I'm liking the classic + cool stripes and gingham that Fran picked up this month.

Friday, August 28, 2015

mind-bogglingly simple

blue knit dress t-shirt dress brown belt teacher style

Tommy Hilfiger dress, Ross
       This brand is always a bit on the expensive side at Ross - dresses run about $30. But, I've found that the Tommy Hilfiger clothing I own is of good quality, fits well, and not prone to excessive wrinkling. This has the ease of a t-shirt dress but a drapey fit vs. a clingy fit - the latter is what makes me steer clear of t-shrt dresses, usually.
       I was disappointed to notice a grease stain on the front of the dress. I did a little Googling and am going to apply some grease-cutting dish detergent before washing it this weekend. Thankfully, the belt hid the stain.
      I can't believe that it's almost September! I am still getting to know my students, but it's fun to discover what catches their interest. This week I showed them how to play Boggle in their notebook if they finish work early and need something to do. I plan to post a new set of letters each week and recognize the student who creates the greatest number of words. Some of them have been downright obsessed - to the point where I've had to threaten to take away notebooks, because they sneakily try to work on it during math time, reading time, and basically any time when they're supposed to be doing something else.

Monday, August 24, 2015

SIA: beating the heat

The inspiration: Air France poster by Rene Gruau

black and white tank cuffed jeans teacher style

Merona tank, Target
Indigo Rein jeans, Macy's
garnet earrings, gift
bracelets: giveaway, DIY, boutique

        This image, selected by Jen of Librarian for Life and Style, is the epitome of summer - you can almost feel the heat and imagine yourself spending a lazy day outside, lounging in a sun hat under a clear blue sky. The strong black lines of the illustration reminded me of this top, and the light wash jeans tie into the background color. I added just a hint of red with my Cutey red bead bracelet and garnet studs. 

     Open House was last Thursday. I had a pretty good turnout - at least half of the class showed up. My students helped their families complete the classroom scavenger hunt and I took a photo of each family. I had my wish list items out, on strips of papers titled "You're a lifesaver!" with a candy attached. Teachers at my school didn't get any funds to start the year with, so fingers crossed that we get a few donations of essentials such as dry-erase pens, sticky notes, and maybe even an electric pencil sharpener. These are things that I often end up buying out of pocket in the middle of the year.
     It was a long day, but at least we had Friday off for Statehood Day. Three-day weekends are splendid: I worked out at the gym two times, slept in, graded some papers, and did some reading. It was just enough time for some work and some relaxation.   

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Jones New York dress, Ross
      A friend shared the video linked below over the weekend, and it made an impression. I admit to usually not clicking on video links shared on Facebook or by bloggers, but this was the perfect video at the perfect time.
          This school year, for a variety of reasons, feels more stressful than usual. New curriculum, new mandated initiatives that impact instruction, and (surprise!) more assessments. Not that assessment in itself is a bad thing - far from it - but that is another post in itself.
        On Saturday, I was so worn out that I overslept my alarm for meditation class. I was disappointed to miss something I look forward to all week, but I figured it was my body's way of telling me to rest. After I got up, I was browsing Facebook and clicked on this video. Twenty minutes later, I felt inspired and full of hope.
          Aikido is often referred to as the art of nonresistance, or harmony. While I have been studying aikido for a number of years, I am just beginning to realize how subtle and pervasive resistance can be. On the physical level, I still find myself instinctively tensing up or trying to use muscle when someone grabs me hard at practice. It's even trickier to deal with on the emotional/mental/spiritual levels. When I leave a work meeting feeling stressed or overwhelmed, or disagreeing silently with what was shared, that is probably me pushing back against what I can't change. When I can't stick to the allergy/asthma medication regimen prescribed by my allergist, I'm fighting the idea that I have a chronic condition that affects me everyday.
          The speaker points out that resisting, or being "stuck," is natural - it's part of being human. But, we can learn how to deal with whatever coming's at us in ways that let us understand the other side as well as assert and protect ourselves.
       Whew, that is more than I planned to write, but writing about the video helped me think through its impact. A little about the outfit: I have a dress in the same style, also from Ross, but one size smaller than this one. I actually like the way this one fits belted: one size bigger means the skirt is a bit fuller, which is fun. It can be challenging to put together an outfit that's comfortable in the heat and professional, but this is one I'll be repeating.

Monday, August 17, 2015

compromise and tassels

black embroidered top cuffed jeans teacher style summer outfits
Style & Co. shirt and Indigo Rein jeans, Macy's

    An I'm-tired-of-wearing-dresses-but-it's-too-hot-for-real-jeans outfit. My compromise was the ultra-lightweight pants - so glad I bought these on a whim a while back. They're very casual, but somehow they look and feel just a bit more work-appropriate to me than denim Bermuda shorts. 
    I'm spanning the age spectrum in this outfit; the pants are from the junior's section, and the top is from Style & Co., whose items can be a bit old-ladyish. But I have to say, this shirt is wonderful: lightweight cotton with pretty embroidery, no gaping neck (although I'm wearing a cami bra for coverage), and no gaping armholes, either. And, tassels! Any day that you can wear tassels to work is a good day. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

delightful exceptions

blue silk tank black and white print pants teacher style summer outfit

Tommy Bahama tank, thrifted
necklace, Nordstrom Rack
pants, Old Navy
Born sandals, Ross

      Flat shoes, being fairly unstructured, usually don't work well for my feet. This pair of gladiator sandals is the surprising exception - I thought they'd be relegated to weekend wearings, but I've worn them several times to work with no discomfort. This is my first pair of Born shoes, and I'm a fan. And yay for scoring them for $17.99 on clearance at Ross!
     Not only are they comfortable, but they are an easy way to add a little something extra to simple outfits. Here I've matched them with a necklace.

     It has been unrelentingly hot here, which means I want to wear things that skim the body. I've been sticking to dresses and even a skirt the other day - as much as I enjoy my jeans, the thought of wearing them is unbearable right now.